Joseph A. Lombardo
Drug possession charges are common in the Atlantic City area and throughout the state of New Jersey. A variety of drugs — including but certainly not limited to marijuana, methamphetamines (or chemicals used in the manufacturing thereof), ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, heroin, crack, and cocaine — are classified as scheduled substances. Possession of any one of these drugs, and many others, can lead to heavy fines, long prison sentences, and future difficulties in obtaining gainful employment.
Joe Lombardo is Your Atlantic City Criminal Defense Lawyer
Lombardo Law has been representing clients in Atlantic City and throughout Southern New Jersey since 1993. We have two decades of experience successfully defending people like yourself against serious possession charges. If you or someone you love is facing allegations of illegal drug possession, you need a team of seasoned and aggressive Atlantic City drug possession attorneys fighting in your corner.
Contact us immediately, online, or by phone at (609) 418-4537. We offer free consultations, and our attorneys are available around the clock, every day of the week, to talk about your case. We even make emergency visits to jails and holding centers. You have nothing to lose by calling, and everything to lose by not calling — so reach out today, before it’s too late.
Classification of Drug Possession Crimes in Atlantic City
New Jersey like most states regulates and controls the possession of controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”). New Jersey classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them. Unlike other states New Jersey places all crimes into one of three categories for CDS’s:
- Petty disorderly person offenses
- Disorderly person offenses
- Indictable crimes
Indictable crimes are the most serious category; they are comparable to felonies in other states, and are further broken down by degrees (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) of severity. Drug possession crimes in New Jersey are typically categorized as 3rd Degree indictable offenses, and carry steep penalties in the event of a conviction. The type and amount of substance present influences the severity of the sentencing. New Jersey is particularly aggressive in punishing drug offenses in that mandatory minimum prison sentences are rigidly enforced, regardless of any mitigating factors or circumstances.
Manufacture, Distribution, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Charges
Not only do New Jersey laws regulate possession of a CDS, but the legislature has also devised a statutory scheme for drug manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute. The full text can be found in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Each of these charges carry a still penalty as the New Jersey legislature has taken a strong stance against drug use and distribution.
It is illegal to possessed Marijuana in Atlantic City despite its widespread popularity. Marijuana, an individual can be charged as a first, second, third, or fourth degree indictable offense, depending on the quantity of the substance.
- If the quantity if less than one ounce, it is a Fourth-Degree Offense.
- If the quantity is more than one ounce but less than five pounds, it is a Third-Degree Offense.
- If the quantity if more than five pounds but less than 25 pounds, it is a Second-Degree Offense.
- If the quantity is more than 25 pounds, it is a First-Degree Offense.
Heroin and Cocaine have unfortunately become a problem in many areas in Atlantic City, and indeed, the Country. New Jersey drug laws impose strict and harsh punishments in an attempt to deter people from using these dangerous substances. For Heroin or Cocaine, an individual can be charged with a first, second, or third degree indictable offense.
- If the quantity involved is less than ½ an ounce, it is a Third-Degree Crime.
- If the quantity is more than ½ an ounce but less than five ounces, it is a Second-Degree Crime.
- If the quantity is more than five ounces, it is a First-Degree Crime.
For Psilocybin/LSD, an individual can be charged with a second or first degree crime.
If the quantity involved is less than 100 milligrams, it is a Second-Degree Crime.
If the quantity involved is more than 100 milligrams it is a First-Degree Offense.
Penalties for Possessing CDS
While the New Jersey legislature has passed bills for Medical Marijuana, they have not decriminalized regular drug use. It is illegal in New Jersey to possess CDS for personal use without a valid medical prescription. The penalities in New Jersey are generally severe and steep in an attempt to deter the use and sale of CDS. Penalties vary according to the type and amount of CDS involved in the violation, as described below:
- Crime in the third degree
Possessing any amount of a schedule I, II, III, or IV CDS incurs a fine of up to $35,000, at least three (and up to five) years in prison, or both.
- Crime in the fourth degree
Possessing any amount of a Schedule V CDS incurs a fine of up to $15,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both.
- Disorderly person offense
Using or being under the influence of any CDS not for the purpose of treating a sickness or injury (as legally prescribed by a licensed physician) incurs a fine of up to $500.
- Possession of CDS Near School Property
It is illegal to possess CDS on or within 1,000 feet of school property, or while on or within 1,000 feet of a school bus. If not sentenced to time in jail or prison, the defendant will have to perform a mandatory minimum 100 hours of community service (in addition to any fine that the judge imposes).
New Jersey is aggressive in its sentencing policies for drug possession crimes. You need an aggressive attorney to match. At Lombardo Law, while we are aggressive in the courtroom, we are compassionate to our clients. We will work with you to be certain we fully understand all dimensions of your situation, and to ensure that your case is presented in the most favorable light possible.
For the past 20 years, our highly skilled drug crime attorneys have successfully argued to have even serious charges reduced, acquitted, or dismissed outright. Call our law offices today at (609) 418-4537, or schedule your free and confidential consultation online. Over the years, Lombardo Law has assisted thousands of residents of Atlantic City and Southern New Jersey in retaining their good name and their freedom. Now, let us assist you.
The Personal Injury Trial attorneys of Lombardo Law Group, LLC have recovered 10s of Millions for accident victims over their careers
“Joe is a top-notch attorney who zealously represents his clients with intelligence, compassion and integrity. A great resource and team player, I wholeheartedly recommend Joe Lombardo.”